Welcome to the daily NBA betting market report, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, or check out The Edge daily at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
All game lines via VSiN NBA Odds page.
Market Report for Thursday, April 21st
*Lines are opening numbers
Memphis Grizzlies (-2.5, 238) at Minnesota Timberwolves
Game 3: Series tied 1-1
Taylor Jenkins made his adjustment on Tuesday and it led to a blow out of Minnesota in Game 2 and now it is Chris Finch’s turn with the series back in Minnesota. The Grizzlies opened Game 2 with their traditional lineup of Steven Adams at center, but after he committed two quick fouls when getting blown by on defense Jenkins benched Adams for the rest of the game. The adjustment worked and Memphis’ small-ball lineups throttled Minnesota throughout the game, putting up 1.188 points per play in the halfcourt while getting dribble penetration which led to them going 19-of-26 at the rim. The Timberwolves’ perimeter defense must be better, but the troubling part about Tuesday was that it was eerily reminiscent of the way they ended the regular season. Over the course of the final nine games they allowed 121.6 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, 103.5 points per 100 plays in halfcourt settings and 75.8% at the rim. Sound familiar? It will be fascinating to see how the Timberwolves adjust here, because defensively there is not much else they can do on the surface. The betting market has shown early support for Minnesota here and it makes sense given the situation of a team coming back home off a loss. It’s surprising that the total has come down with the side moving toward the underdog here. It is my belief that if Minnesota is going to win and cover this game it would be somewhat higher scoring given the challenges this defense is going to face.
Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz (-7.5, 209)
Game 3: Series tied 1-1
It might be a tied series heading back to Utah, but the Jazz still have problems in this series. Dallas exploited every issue that Utah has had in past seasons, destroying perimeter defenders off the dribble and kicking it out to open shooters. On Monday the Mavericks took 30 catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts and shot 53.3% on those shots which ultimately gave them an edge in their victory. Through two games Dallas has averaged 28 catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts while shooting 44.6% and that strategy is not changing anytime soon. It is nearly identical to the issues in Utah’s conference semifinal loss to Los Angeles last season in which the Clippers averaged 23.0 catch-and-shoot 3-pointers and shot 47.8% for the series. What is changing as we move forward? The betting market has adjusted the power rating here though, so underdog bettors are not getting the same value on Dallas as they were in the first two games, as a -5 on the road in the postseason does not equate to -7 at home. The number is moving in the direction of the Mavericks this morning and that is not a surprise given the Mavericks’ ability to exploit the issues that have plagued the Jazz for years now. The total is the highest its been in the series at 210.5 and that is likely the change of venue and the expected uptick in performance from Utah’s offense, but keep in mind that Dallas has done a brilliant job of slowing this series down. According to Cleaning The Glass the first game had about 90 possessions for both teams and Game 2 was about 88 which is an agonizing pace.
Golden State Warriors (-2.5, 224.5) at Denver Nuggets
Game 3: Warriors lead 2-0
This game, and this series, is going to come down to Denver’s defense which has yet to show up through two games. In this series the Warriors’ offense is putting up 135.9 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes and 123.3 points per 100 plays in the halfcourt. Their small-ball lineup of Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green has a + 129.3 net rating in 11 minutes together and Denver has absolutely no answers for it. This all just comes down to the Nuggets’ ability to put forth a better effort on offense which means more from players not named Nikola Jokic. Aaron Gordon has averaged 7.5 points on 31.6% shooting, Monte Morris has been passive in averaging 11 points on just 8.5 attempts per game and bench players who have played for more than 10 minutes have averaged just 31.5 points per game. Jokic got to the free throw line eight times in Game 2 as opposed to just twice in Game 1 so a friendlier whistle at home will benefit Denver if it gets it but relying on officiating to close a wide gap is tough to do. The betting market is showing some early support for the Nuggets in this game back home. I can’t buy into that. Golden State is a terrible matchup for Denver, and anytime they want to widen the lead all they must do is put their best lineup on the floor. Give me the favorite here to take a 3-0 series lead and cover the number.
Play: Warriors (-1.5)
Best Bet Summary
Season Record: 85-68-2